With the prosecutor warning of “retaliation” and the defense asserting a “general” overreaction to a recent crime spree, new details emerged inside a local courtroom that may explain why police on both sides of the city-county line collaborated to bring about the arrest of Torius Jihad Price.
The 21-year-old Albemarle County resident, charged Monday, March 13, with brandishing a weapon, was denied bail Thursday morning by after about a 20-minute hearing in Charlottesville General District Court.
Chief deputy commonwealth’s attorney Nina-Alice Antony made the case that Price should be denied bail. She said that Price and another young man went to the home of the unnamed 17-year-old who has been charged with murder in the recent death of Price’s friend, Justice Kilel.
A 20-year-old Gordonsville resident, Kilel was allegedly ambushed with brass-knuckle punches and then shot to death inside a Cherry Ave. convenience store by the teenager on March 4.
Antony said that Price and another young man allegedly showed up at the teen’s home in Belmont the next day armed with one or more guns, including one with an extended magazine, pointed at the residence. Alone with a baby on the second floor, the teen’s frightened mother dove for cover, Antony said.
“Mr. Price is the one holding the handgun with the extended magazine,” Antony told the court. “The individuals go to her house in a threatening manner; that is exactly the type of retaliation that leads to more violence.”
Defense attorney Peter S. Frazier noted that the charged crime is a misdemeanor and asserted that Price should be allowed to live, with restrictions, at his mother’s house where he had been living.
Frazier also noted that while a search warrant did turn up a .40 caliber Glock handgun, that’s not what the witness described.
“There’s no mention of any extended clip magazine,” said Frazier. “All we have is this woman’s bald assertions.”
Antony responded that finding another type of gun doesn’t exonerate Price for his actions.
Frazier then complained that Antony was pushing a “general concern” based on the gunfire that has raged during the recent fall and winter.
The judge, however, sided with Antony to keep Price in jail.
“He went to a specific person’s house,” said Judge Andrew Sneathern. “I think that brings a heightened level of dangerousness.”
After the hearing, Frazier said that Price would appeal. The next planned hearing is set for May 25.
The teen who was allegedly the subject of Price’s ire has been charged with second-degree murder. He too was shot in the incident, according to the Charlottesville Police.